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The buzz is back in the publishing industry

The publishing industry—badly hammered by the pandemic—finally seems to be catching a break. 

Publications are bouncing back, eCommerce is surging, ad spend is looking up, and there’s a sense of optimism in the air.

Many publishers who bet on eCommerce are seeing decades of growth in weeks, programmatic ad spend is returning to pre-pandemic levels, and IAB just announced a “light at the end of the tunnel” for digital advertising, with ad spend for 2020 expected to end with a 6% increase versus 2019.

The beleaguered Publishing Executive has now been acquired by Adweek. “This acquisition will help accelerate the strong growth that Adweek has been experiencing by expanding our reach and our depth of audience with key constituencies,” said Adweek CEO Jeffrey Litvack.

BuzzFeed—one of the first media organizations to implement broad cost-cutting measures earlier this year—is rolling back the workshare program and graduated pay reductions, and will restore full salaries

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced today that the company will end salary reductions that were implemented for all employees in April in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The company is also in a financial position to end work-sharing plans for the News team,” the BuzzFeed News Union tweeted

“We are happy and relieved that our staff can once again be paid our full salaries and do our work full-time.”

This follows Meredith’s announcement “that it would reinstitute full pay for employees beginning September“, and Condé Nast saying it too would roll back pay cuts starting Q4.

It’s nice to hear some positive media news after months of layoffs, furloughs, layoffs, furloughs…

Kerry Flynn, CNN media reporter 

And while we’ve already covered the programmatic bounceback and eCommerce surge, here are a few more details publishers need to know about the current state of digital advertising.

According to IAB’s sixth 2020 buy/sell-side survey, buyers expect digital ad spend to increase by 6% for FY2020 vs FY2019.

With attention increasingly moving online, the average time spent with digital has gone up.

Digital ads have benefited from this increase in screen time.

Paid Search (+26%), Social (+25%) and CTV (+19%) are among those with the most impressive gains. 

Although budgeting for 2021 is still in flux, ad spend expected to increase y/y. Buyers with at least ballpark budgets project +5.3% ad spend for FY2021 vs FY2020.

The industry is definitely seeing a “V-shaped bounce back in the digital advertising business,” a senior executive told Forbes.